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REDD+: shockwaves after huge Kariba project partnership colapses.

Today is Wednesday, November 1, 2023.

With COP-28 and the first "Global Stocktake" just weeks away, news about the collapse of the partnership behind a mega-project in Zimbabwe the size close to the island of Jamaica, backed by the world’s top seller of carbon offsets.

After more than 13 years, the Swiss South-Pole announced last Friday the termination of its contract with Carbon Green Investments, owner and developer of the Kariba REDD+ project.

"The termination follows careful consideration of the project, issues involved, and allegations that have been raised publicly".

A surprise? A danger to the rest of carbon market?

Well, last October 19, the investigative journalism portal Follow the Money reported South Pole's laying off around 200 employees. And last January 27, same portal had already published an article titled "Showcase project by the world’s biggest carbon trader actually resulted in more carbon emissions". Article started with a picture suggesting "sweeping emitters under the rug".

But let's give a broader look in the current scenario around carbon markets.

(1) Integrity bar getting higher and Monitoring, Reporting and Assurance (MRA) mentioned more and more.

(2) Growing oversight, more and more countries regulating it.

(3) Transparency also enhancing, through trading in a growing number of stock exchanges.

(4) Customer protection initiatives, to address false claims and greenwashing.

(5) Raising bar also in terms of the legal nature of carbon credits.

(6) Growing use of technology, from satellites to tokenization / blockchain.

And probably more, like Article 6 developments.

Verra also issued a statement, indicating its "buffer pool mechanism" as a mitigation to the risk of cancelation of the credits awarded since Kariba’s inception. And corporate claims based on these gone void. Kariba REDD+ carbon credits ended up in corporate giants, mainly from Europe. Verra could also require compensation from the project proponent.

While people down there in Zimbabwe wait for investments to resume, let's be fair: there are lots of little project developers who are doing a great job.


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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